Thursday, 5 April 2012

Short Stories

I bought a Kobo Touch ereader on my way home from a distant trip. Partly because it’s hard to have an 8 hour layover without buyingsomethingother than necessary food (I also bought a giant box of Jelly Belly jelly beans at half the price of duty free, whoo), and partly because carrying paper books to read on long-haul flights is tedious. For one thing, they weigh more and take up more room and, for another, being shoved in my bag leads to more damaged covers (sacrilege!) than leaving them at home. Also, I have a terrible tendency to choose the wrong sort of books to take on flights, but I’m not blaming that on the dead trees.

Usually I read ebooks on my iPhone or iPad (on the go vs at home when hubby isn’t using it) and that’s not going to change. I have absolutely no problem reading on backlit screens and, hey, my iPhone still has more pixels than the Kobo making it smoother on the eyes. So why did I buy a Kobo? Battery life. It takes 24+ hours to fly from Europe to Australia and neither iThing can survive that many hours of near constant use (even in airplane aeroplane mode) and still have juice for emergencies upon arrival. Sure, I could bet on not reading the whole way — perhaps trying to sleep or availing myself of inflight entertainment — but sleep doesn’t always happen and not all flights have TVs in seats, especially overnight flights (and out of 24+ hourssome of that has to be overnight). So I bought a Kobo, which I just spent too many words justifying.

I wanted to test out my new Kobo but didn’t want to commit to reading an entire novel on it. After loading all my books on it (well, most of them; I discovered I don’t have the best ebook backup/filing system) I thought why not read some short stories that I’ve downloaded or bought and not got around to? The covers above are the stories I’ve read in the past couple of days.

“Grandeur” by Jo Anderton

This is a prequel teaser for Debris(see my review here). It gives a bit of a taste of the world and the characters, particularly the main character, Tanyana. Of course it contains no information crucial to the story in Debris, but I found it an interesting backstory. You can download it free as a PDF from the author’s website.

“Marine Biology” by Gail Carriger

This is a great story with adorable characters. Alec, the main character, is an in-the-closet werewolf who really doesn’t fit in with his pack. There are also merpeople and selkies. It’s similar in sensibilities to Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate books, but set in the modern world and with marine supernaturals included. (Side note: the cover works particularly well on the black and white Kobo e-ink screen.) You can buy it for 99 US cents on Smashwords.

“Party, With Echoes” by Patty Jansen

This is a science fictional deep-sea adventure set on Europa. It has weird alien bacterial colonies and an ice cave. Fun, quick read. You can download it free (for now?) on Smashwords.

“How Astrid Found Her Passion” by Nichole Murphy

A fantasy story about an Australian woman who gets mysteriously transported to a magical kingdom and inadvertently tangled up in a local dispute between mages and a lord. Another fun, quick read. You can also download this story free (for now?) on Smashwords.

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